Forgotten Player of the Moment – VANN MCELROY
(by Ed Agner)
I have a love/hate thing for pro football. Actually, I love pro football in theory – in July – but the NFL works so hard to flaunt its hypocrisy by creating false parity and messing around with strange new policies to artificially stimulate things one way or other and…creating…tuck…rules…and…HATE…RISING. Can’t work blue. Move on.
Ahem. But I honestly do believe pro football is truly a beautiful sport and the NFL style of play is beyond repraoch – which is a big reason why their competitors always fail. But then the suits always try to meddle with this and that and the other just to show how clueless they all are and I always turn back to hating the sport over and over again – unless, by small chance, my beloved Raiders somehow don’t completely suck, but I know even that will make me hate the NFL even more in the end – DIE TOM BRADY! Oops.
Ahem. Now that I think of it, I have no idea how I even developed a love for football growing up in Ohio around insufferably, self-righteously priggish Ohio State fans and…well…there’s the Browns…and the Bengals. Man, I’ve seen some bad football. Thank God I became a Raider fan young. So for my forgotten player of the moment, I know I shouldn’t do all baseball since I really do love football. But I’m having a hard time thinking of any players except the greats and of course no one forgets them. I just can’t think of any football scrubs at all since, rather than having any real feelings for most individual players, my direct football love/hate goes to entire organizations/cities – with the exception of Brady, Bradshaw and Elway, of course.
Anyhoo, Vann McElroy comes to me from out of the blue and that’s just dandy to me. I liked Vann well enough – tough little scrappy OK-at-best Safety for the Raiders back in the L.A. years, serving in between the JACK FRICKIN’ TATUM and broken-down Ronnie Lott eras. Hmm, he was a Pro Bowler in ’82 and ’83 and finished with 31 picks a TD and one Sack – Thank you Total Football II. I wasn’t even aware that he finished up with Seattle. I thought all old Raiders from that time period were supposed to finish with Houston. Oh right, Bum Phillips was done as a coach by then. Oh well.
I recall McElroy seemed almost too small to be playing Safety – and considering how the L.A. years went – other than the GLORIOUS SUPER BOWL XVII victory over the Redskins – he probably was. I also recalled that he really tried to kill people over the middle a la Ronnie Lott but…well…was too slow…and small…and white to be effective. But otherwise, Vann was a nice little player – had quite the nifty feathered mullet and splendid John Oates mustache. God, it’s almost like I’m describing Jason Sehorn here.
But mostly I recall that McElroy looked like the type of guy who married the Homecoming Queen who gave him bratty children and turned fat causing him to have a world of hate and a huge beer belly after retirement because of it. Which is funny since I Googled McElroy and he’s now a minister in Texas and looks like Rich Gannon. Ahh, football! You never fail to mess with my head!